About Me

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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Friday, January 24, 2014

CHINESE MEDICINE DOLLS: HOW FAR HAVE WE PROGRESSED?


                   Chinese Ivory Medicine Dolls were used by doctors in ancient China. 

            ** Doctors were not allowed to touch their modest female patients. 

            ** With a point stick the women showed the doctor where they hurt.           

            ** The doctor would prescribe herbs or medicine to treat or cure her ailment.



Since my diagnosis with ovarian cancer I have listened to many women who have been hesitant to talk to their spouses, friends, or physician about concerns "below the waist." Some of them had pain, bloating, unusual menstruation, constipation/diarrhea, or vaginal discharge until they "could not take it anymore." 


As I observe movies, television shows, commercials, magazine ads, and so forth it becomes evident that in general the female genital-abdominal area is not presented with complete, informative or helpful information. There are ads and commercials about tampons, pads and menstrual pain, but almost no information about any cancers, diseases, or abnormalities of that body area.

It took the Susan B. Komen organization to bring awareness, open discussion, rallies, and so forth to present the very important issue of breast cancer. Due to this effort, women's breasts are no longer just sex symbols.

Our bodies are beautiful...let's be proud of them...keep them healthy...respond to their warning symptoms...and see our physicians in a timely manner.

Recommendations:

          * Age 21 PAP test every 2-3 years; age 30-65 PAP & HPV test every 3-5 years.

          * Consult physician for any abnormal bleeding or vaginal discharge without delay.

          * See gynecologist for abdominal bloating or pain for 2 weeks.
       
          * Changes in urinary or bowel habits for 2 weeks require medical attention.

          * Know your family history.

(Download the link to track changes: http://www.ocaf.org/more-information/symptom-diary/


MY CANCER MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED & TREATED EARLIER IF I HAD ACTED ON THE THIRD RECOMMENDATION, AND NOT WAITED 5 MONTHS!

               Jaymie is an example of why we women need to be proactive: http://jaymiejamisonfoundation.blogspot.com/2014/01/cervical-cancer-awareness-month-meganne.html?m=1






ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER RESEARCH
                  www.outshineovariancancer.com
                  www.amazon.com
                  www.barnesandnoble.com



Thursday, January 16, 2014

"BUT I WAS HEALTHY..."




LINDA RYAN shares her amazing story about both thyroid and cervical cancers. She had considered herself the model of perfect health.

She is active with www.mestrong.com; Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Florida; and an ardent supporter and organizer to raise awareness about thyroid and gynecologic cancers.




                        At the age of 34, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 
                               eighteen months later I was diagnosed with cervical cancer,
                                       and seven years after that I was found to have recurrent cervical cancer.     

When my cervical cancer recurred I was in the best shape of my life and I had just run the San Diego Marathon (26.2 miles).  It came as both a shock and something I had expected to happen, as most survivors often do. It was in the back of my mind that one day my cancer would return.  

The lump was in a strange place. The good news was that I felt stronger than ever both physically and mentally. 

At first the doctors thought that my thyroid cancer was back.  The treatment was a radical neck dissection and my research told me that I needed to see Dr. Clayman at MD Anderson in Houston.  The week before I was scheduled to fly to Houston to see him, I found some lymph nodes in my groin area that were not consistent with thyroid cancer.  

At that point, things became more urgent and my case was transferred to Gynecology.  After determining that my cervical cancer was back with a vengeance, having spread to my lymph nodes, I participated in a clinical trial at MD Anderson.  I flew from my home in Florida to Houston every 3 weeks for chemotherapy.  The day after chemo I flew home to recover and get stronger so I could handle another round of chemo.

Because I felt strongly that exercising helped prepare me to fight cancer head on I continued to exercise as much as possible during my treatment.  I ran, went to the gym, and did Pilates. Exercise was good for my mental health as much as my physical health.  

While going through chemotherapy treatments I ran two half marathons and several 5ks. My finishing times were not important; my ability to be out there was important to me.  

I tried to not let cancer or my treatments control me, I maintained control of my life. Chemo knocked me down every round but I got up and lived my life.  I felt that cancer would gain strength as it took things away from me, so I prayed, I exercised, and I lived my life the way I did before I was diagnosed refusing to give cancer any power over me.

After eight grueling rounds of chemotherapy my doctor gave me the wonderful news that there was no evidence of disease in my body.  


My friends and I continue the mission of the charity we started as we battle cancer with health, laughter, and friendship. 




**PLEASE like https://www.facebook.com/mestronglinda
                 **SUPPORT Linda at www.mestrong.com








My thanks to Linda for her willingness to share her story. Cervical cancer is on the decrease and thyroid cancer is on the rise. Cancer can affect any one of us at any time...even when we think we are healthy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"I HAVE A LUMP IN MY THROAT"



                                          The incidence of thyroid cancer is rising,
                                                             the cure rate is high.
                     But this is a serious disease and not to be considered "the good cancer."


Do you know the symptoms?

                                   * A lump in the throat,

                                   * Difficulty swallowing,

                                   * Pain in the neck or ears,

                                   * Difficulty swallowing, or constant wheezing,

                                   * Frequent coughing,

                                   * Or, a hoarse voice.

Typically treatment involves surgery and radioactive iodine.

                                             **A recurrence may occur, years later**

There are no clear causes, 
                                however the risk factors are:
                                                             high exposure to radiation, 
                                                             family or personal history of goiter,
                                                             or, certain genetic syndromes.

Please watch the following video, which is informative and inspirational.
                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqvy3B8W2a4

My thanks to www.thyroid.org, www.mayoclinic.com, and www.streaming well.com.





Thursday, January 2, 2014

CERVICAL CANCER: IS IT PREVENTABLE?

Cervical cancer:

  1.      Is a cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus connecting to the vagina.
  2.      Annual PAP smears can detect the absence or presence of such cancerous cells.
  3.      The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) plays a major role in most cases.
  4.      The HPV Vaccine is recommended for girls between the ages of 9 and 26.


Risk Factors:

  • Many sexual partners
  • Early sexual activity
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • A weak immune system

Treatment & Statistics:

  1. Hysterectomy
  2. Radiation
  3. Chemotherapy
                                  In 2009, there were 84,155 diagnoses and 27,813 deaths

                                HOWEVER, THANKS IN LARGE PART TO THE VACCINE

                                  In 2013, there were 12,340 diagnoses and 4,030 deaths!!!!!!




**My thanks to the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Health for its information.
**Thanks to the Foundation for Women's Cancer for all the educational, promotional, and legislative efforts it does.